Community & Rituals

The courtyards of the Hosh houses in Umm Qais formed the focal point for the social life of the community. The flat roofs of the houses provided a space for women to move between adjacent houses and to socialise. Guests to a house and family members would gather on the terraces (muarrashat) in the evening to socialise, play games of minqala and drink tea. After Maghrib prayer the entrances to the courtyard house would be closed for the night with the exception of a small opening in each door (the Khwwaikha). 

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Wedding of a member of al-Masri family. Guests dancing the Dabkah in the courtyard of a Hosh at Umm Qais during the wedding celebrations. 

In addition to daily social functions the courtyards of the Hosh, with their green and cool gardens, also served as the setting for more formal social functions and local traditions. In particularly wedding celebrations with their traditions of dancing of the Dabkah would take place in the courtyard of the families of the couple and the Zaffeh (the wedding procession) would start or end in the courtyard of the Hosh.

Interview with Umm Hiba: Guests and community in Umm Qais

Interview with Firas Al-Rousan: Life and Community in Umm Qais

Interview with Umm Hiba: Weddings

Interview with Firas Al-Rousan: Weddings and celebrations in Umm Qais

Interview with Firas Al-Rousan: Ramadan celebrations, guests and socialising

The Living Museum of Umm Qais project has been interviewing the people of Umm Qais, recording the oral histories of the community. The following videos are excerpts from this archive in which people describe their memories of the community, it's rituals and events in the life of the community.

Throughout the project we are processing more interview material collected by our project volunteers in Umm Qais so look out for new material uploaded here.